James Blake - James BlakeAtlas
The buzz surrounding James Blake started in early 2010 with a simmer before it ascended into a boil. Now with the release of his self-titled debut, the twenty two year old pianist is poised to build on that momentum. Blake’s beautiful compositions are hypnotic melodic textures built over dub step rhythms and thick bass lines. That’s quite evident on the huge down-tempo hit “Limit To Your Love”, with its haunting piano melody and vibrato drum patterns. “The Wilhelm Scream” is another standout that merges blues and electronica while Blake’s falsetto captures the emotion of a lost love. The only problem is his songwriting isn’t his strength and some of the other tracks like “I Never Learnt to Share” leave you feeling like he had more to say but couldn’t quite find the words to say it. That’s not the case on “Why Don’t You Call Me”, a tune that taps into his classical roots and his love of the blues. Blake is certainly onto something by seamlessly fusing dissimilar musical styles together. In addition, his production talents and his voice manipulations make his debut a fascinating listen.
Reg Dancy, 04/11